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  • Writer's picturetim laielli

Own Your Engagements

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Nearly everyone feels like they’re awkward in front of the camera. Your engagement photos will likely be the first time you’ve had photos taken professionally with your significant other. I wouldn’t expect you to naturally know what to do or how to act without guidance and direction. That’s my job.

This time is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other while allowing you to become comfortable having your photo taken. After your engagements, you’ll know exactly what it’s like to have me photograph your wedding.

Since my photography is representative of real life, there are some things you can do to make sure the experience is enjoyable and dare I say - fun? My approach to photography sessions makes our time together feel more like a date for you than anything else. You’ll laugh and smile, we’ll talk about life and love, and I’ll capture the best moments along the way.

Think About Your Interests

One of my most common questions I ask my couples is, “how do you spend your time together?” I ask that because not only does it help me understand your dynamic as a couple, but because when I understand your interests I’m able to better help plan your session. We don’t have to just walk around outside; I encourage you to include your passions. If you like playing frisbee with your dog at the park, why couldn’t that be part of your engagement session? If you enjoy running, my Hokas are already laced up. The more we include your personality, the more genuine the photos will be and the more you’ll hear, “these photos are beautiful and so YOU.”

Some things my couples have done during our sessions include a jam session with their guitar and cello, paddleboarding, eating cheeseburgers, hiking a mountain in Switzerland, off-roading, drinking beer straight from the tap at their favorite Iowa brewery, wandering a junkyard, jumping off a catamaran into the Caribbean, and so many more. Typing these out made me smile.


The best time of day to take photos is undeniably what photographers call “golden hour” - which means starting within two hours of sunset. I try my best to use this time of day when possible as it delivers the most flattering light. First thing in the morning works beautifully as well. When we have the light on our side, the rest is easy. I’ll take care of monitoring sunset times and the weather to make sure we have good conditions, but sometimes we’ll just need to embrace it.

Selecting Outfits

When choosing an outfit, make sure to pick something you’re comfortable in. I’ve created a mood board for inspiration, where you’ll notice I’m a big fan of neutral colors. Feel free to draw as much or as little inspiration from it as you’d like. If you’re constantly tugging on your shirt because it fits weird or are walking funny because your shoes hurt, you’re gonna have a bad time. Bring one or two options that feel like the best version of you. Guys, trim your nails.

If you enjoy dressing up, do it. If you’re more of the relaxed and casual type, make it happen. If you like hats, wear one. Don’t overthink your outfit, but do make sure you feel great in it.


I want to make sure to make a point to address my type A personalities with this one. I’m confident that I can deliver great photos in any location so long as my couples are relaxed and comfortable. If you’re not one to go with the flow, I’m going to ask you to try your best. Instead of trying to overplan and make sure we hit five of your favorite locations with three wardrobe changes and run through a list of twenty of your favorite poses at each spot, let’s pick a location or two that are special to you as a couple and just hang around the area. We’ll come across locations that we otherwise wouldn’t have discovered, and your mind will be in a place where you can focus on enjoying yourself instead of stressing that we won’t get to do that one pose you found on Pinterest.

That’s it. I like to have fun. You like to have fun. Let’s do that.

More planning doesn’t mean better photos. Show up ready to tell me why he makes you smile and roll your eyes at the same time, or why she’s the best thing to ever happen to you. I’ll handle the rest.

Thanks for stopping by. Check out more of my work on Instagram @barefoottim.


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